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The Religious School of Congregation Emanu-El has a long tradition of supporting the work of organizations working for social justice through weekly tzedakah donations made by its students.

Formerly known as “The Brightside Fund,” this program was given its name at a time when the “uptown” Jewish community dedicated itself to helping the newcomers who were flooding the gates of Ellis Island in a desperate search for the “brighter side” of life. However, more important than the name is the expectation that students will learn the importance of righteous giving. We ask for students to bring a contribution towards a communal project with them each time they come to school. Donation organizations are selected by our Religious School Student Council representatives.


As situations in
the world warrant,

the Religious School periodically will undertake a special collection. Learn more through the links below about special collections we have generated:

Typhoon Haiyan Relief

Hurricane Sandy Relief

Japan Earthquake Relief

Fire in Northern Israel

Haiti Earthquake Relief


In 2017-2018, our recipients we:
  • DOROT — Since 1976, DOROT’s programs have brought food and friendship to the isolated elderly and reconnected them to the community. For more than four decades, DOROT has been an innovative leader in the fields of aging services and volunteerism. DOROT’s diverse set of programs, as well as our focus on providing intergenerational connections to seniors, has ensured that DOROT’s clients have access to the resources they need to age with dignity, independence and grace. Our students raised a total of $1,156.72, which will be used to support DOROT’s delivery of meals to home-bound seniors.

  • The Mount Sinai Hospital — On January 15, 1852, nine men representing a variety of Jewish charities agreed on a vision for free medical care for indigent Jews in New York City. More than 160 years after its founding, The Mount Sinai Hospital continues to grow and lead, fulfilling its commitment to high-quality patient care and teaching conducted in an atmosphere of social concern and scholarly inquiry into the nature, causation, prevention and therapy of human disease.

  • The Make a Wish Foundation: $1,161.41 will go to the Make a Wish Foundation. Tens of thousands of volunteers, donors and supporters advance the Make-A-Wish vision to grant the wish of every child diagnosed with a critical illness. In the United States and its territories, on average, a wish is granted every 34 minutes.

Recipients from previous years include:

For more information about Religious School tzedakah efforts
or to make a donation, contact the Department of Lifelong Learning.

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